School board passes code to punish teachers for critical race theory after funding threat
A North Carolina school board has adopted a policy that will punish teachers for discussing critical race theory in the classroom after a board of trustees threatened to withhold $ 7.9 million of its funding.
The Johnston County School Board on Friday approved an updated code of ethics policy that outlines strict parameters for how history and racism can be taught in schools. Now teachers could be fired for “undermining” fundamental American documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, for failing to recognize historical figures as heroes, or for portraying racism as an enduring aspect of life. American life.
“No student or staff member will be subjected to the idea that racism is a lifelong feature of American life,” says the updated code of conduct. “No unequal value should be attributed to any race, sex, religion, ethnicity, social class or any other identifying group.”
The new code also states that “all those who have contributed to American society will be recognized and portrayed as reformists, innovators and heroes of our culture.”
Johnston County is the seventh largest school district in North Carolina, serving more than 37,000 students.
The decision to adopt the policy came after the Johnson Country Board of Commissioners – a group of all Republican members – threatened to suspend funding for schools until the code is passed. The demand for a new policy came after critics accused teachers of implementing aspects of critical race theory into their classes or painting an overly negative view of state history. -United, The news and the observer reported.
Critical Race Theory was developed in the 1980s as a teaching method that describes how race, class, gender, and sexuality affect American life. The view argues that systemic racism is part of our nation’s history and recognizes the racial disparities that have persisted in the United States despite civil rights reforms, according to The New York Times.
The theory has recently become a hot topic among Republicans who have tried to regulate how history and racism are taught in schools at state and national levels. Last month, Democratic Governor of North Carolina Roy Cooper vetoed an anti-criticism bill on racial theory passed by GOP lawmakers, calling it “conspiratorial.”
“The legislature should focus on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning and investing in our public schools. Instead, this bill pushes a calculated and conspiratorial policy in public education. “Cooper said.
Johnston’s school board vice-president Terri Sessoms said on Friday the new policy would do “good things for children.” But others, including the president of the Johnston County Educators Association and April Lee, a grade 8 social studies teacher, said the new policy was “selling our souls to the devil for $ 7.9 million. of dollars “.
“It’s basically extortion,” Lee said The news and the observer. “They are holding the money hostage until they get a policy extreme enough to approve it. We should all be mad about it.”
Lee told the newspaper that she will not change the way she teaches because of the new policy, but is concerned that this will cause the public to target certain teachers.
“I think it opens the door for people to question what the real story is and why we teach parts of it if they don’t agree or have a different perspective,” Lee said.
News week contacted the Johnston County School Board for comment, but did not receive a response in time for the post.